Artwork Details

Yun-Fei Ji

b. 1963

Three Gorges Dam Migration
Hand-printed watercolor woodblock print on paper and silk
17 5/16 x 337 1/8 inches
Not on view
Accession Number
Museum Purchase
Image Copyright
© Yun-Fei JI

About the Artwork

Yun-Fei Ji (b. 1963) has adopted the historical woodblock-printed Chinese scroll format as a way to engage viewers to consider how progress” affects China’s people and culture. Often considered to be primarily decorative objects in the West, Chinese scrolls have in fact historically combined images and narrative, and often, social commentary. Ji’s use of the scroll signals his connection with Chinese cultural traditions, putting him at odds with the modernization of China in the mid-20th century under Communist leader Mao Zedong. 

Ji’s recurrent subject is how decades-old pro-industrial policies enacted during Mao’s Cultural Revolution profoundly affect the lives of contemporary Chinese. Three Gorges Dam Migration (2010), addresses the opening in 2006 of China’s Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydro-electric power station. An undeniable feat of engineering and technology, the Dam also flooded and destroyed important cultural sites and displaced over one million people from their homes and communities. The artist says of his work, Perhaps on the surface things look quiet, but when you look closely, they are stirring and disturbing.”